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Our New Virtual Reality: Managing and Supporting Virtual Teams

by Syretha O. Storey
March/April 2021
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/our-new-virtual-reality-managing-and-supporting-virtual-teams/5025854/

COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the field of early childhood education in many ways. With its onset, many early childhood leaders found themselves in a perpetual fight or flight state. Our stressors included programs shuttering, declining enrollment, staffing issues, health and safety concerns, and a financial crisis that gripped the field of early childhood education beyond what many of us could imagine.

In between those extreme ends of the spectrum, many early childhood leaders also found themselves attempting to lead and support virtual teams for the first time. As states broadly closed child care programs, directors quickly shifted to virtual teams as a way to meet Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan requirements. Without precedent for managing entirely virtual teams, many directors were left to figure out a plan “on the fly.” According to the Cambridge dictionary, “If you do something on the fly, you do it quickly, often while you are doing something else, without preparing and without thinking too much about how it should be done.” That sounds about right! While the bumps and bruises are still fresh, now is an ideal time for reflecting and identifying future implementation strategies.

As the director of an early childhood program located on a federal agency ...

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